Real Music & Real Estate . . .

Yiddishe Cup’s bandleader, Bert Stratton, is Klezmer Guy.

He knows about the band biz and – check this out – the real estate biz, too.

You may not care about the real estate biz. Hey, you may not care about the band biz. (See you.)

This is a blog with a gamy twist. It features tenants with snakes and skunks, and musicians with smoked fish in their pockets.

Stratton has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post.



The tenant — a poet — said she liked the way the sunlight glinted through her living room blinds onto the hardwood floor.

“But what really got me,” she said, “was your company’s Craigslist ad about ‘a closet big enough to park a Mini Cooper in.'”

I liked her. She liked my copy writing.  She thanked me for “two wonderful years.”


Another tenant — a waitress — interrupted the landlord-poet lovefest. The waitress, standing at the poet’s door, said another tenant — a third person — had just stolen the waitress’ skirt from the laundry room dryer and was wearing it.

“Wearing it in the building?” I said.


The skirt was a full-length, tie-dyed orange, green and red hippie shmate.  The skirt’s owner — the waitress — was  26.

The thief was a middle-aged black woman who wouldn’t answer her door. Not even when the cops showed up.

Meanwhile, I was also dealing with a drunk who had run her faucet all night, on purpose, and had called my manager a “pig.”

That woman got an eviction notice right then.

I decided to phone the black woman about the tie-dyed skirt.  I got her boyfriend.  Good.  He was on the lease; she wasn’t.  I told him the skirt thief had to be out in three days.

“Don’t put me out!  She’ll go,” he said.  He was a solid tenant, other than he left cigarette butts all over.   He was 69 and “country” — from Tennessee.    On his rent checks he wrote rant instead of rent in the memo line. (Another poet?)

“She can’t stay more than three days,” I said.

“Can I ask, sir, why is that?'”

“I rented to you, not her.  The woman is not on the lease.”

I didn’t bring up the stolen skirt matter; that would have complicated things. But I wanted to say: “The next time your lady friend steals clothes from the laundry room, tell her not to wear the skirt in the building!”  Out in three days.

My poet tenant enclosed a poem with her final rent payment.  It began:

The way the forecast told of dark clouds,
drizzle, seemed more true than the way
the sun lit hills of trees, dull golds, rusts.

[by Karen Schubert]

I read that poem about 10 times.  I concluded it was a “winter is a-comin in” poem.   The drunks and skirt thieves were a comin’ in for the winter.


Reminder: This blog is updated twice a week: Wednesday and Friday mornings.  Please see the post below too.  It’s kind of  fresh.

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